Although the legislation will not begin to be enforced until the middle of next year, Norway did pass laws banning online poker and other gambling transactions for all Norwegian residents. The government still needs to work out the actual regulations of the new law. If this sounds familiar to you, it is because the United States passed a similar law more than two years ago known as UIGEA. That legislation is still stirring controversy as the US has yet to work out the ambiguities of that act.

The Norwegian government claims the law is needed to protect problem gamblers but it doesn’t affect the state-run gaming company Norske Tipping. Other countries in the European Union are already predicting the law will end up being contested in the European Court of Justice for unfair trade practices. Norwegian financial institutions also oppose the bill as it puts the burden of enforcement squarely on them, just as the US is trying to do in that country.

Norske Tipping offers Norwegian residents many choices of lottery, sports and instant games with much of the profit going to various purposes throughout the country. Since inception in 1948, the company has been owned by the Norwegian government and operated by the Norwegian Ministry of Culture and Church Affairs.